Rancho del Sur, Santa Cruz Island

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Rancho del Sur, Santa Cruz Island [Sp., south ranch], was one of the minor out ranches developed by Justinian Caire in the late 19th century. It was located on the eastern end of the Central Valley about two miles to the west of Valley Anchorage, and appears on an early map of Cañada del Sur dated 1886/1891 (#52). A simple wood ranch house served employees working in the eastern valley. A November 5, 1918 Company letter indicated the Sur “would be available at once with a little work on the house that could be done in 2 or 3 days.” Clifford McElrath reported when he went to the island to work in 1919, “South Ranch had been abandoned for some years.” In 1922 Symmes reported: “The buildings at the Sur Ranch are an old frame house and barn in poor condition. Several small and productive areas are fenced.” Today, a small citrus orchard and a cobblestone foundation mark the location of the former Rancho del Sur.


Rancho Sur, Santa Cruz Island c 1920


September 11, 1917 [SCICo]: “Valdez, Ed. Espinoza and Zurmuhlen are leaving because of a drunken row at the Sur on Sunday , which was continued into Monday. Zurmuhlen was sober, but his feelings were hurt when we went to the Sur Monday night and waked him up to bring Valdez and Espinoza to the Main Ranch. The order was given to Valdez and Zurmuhlen about 4 P.M. to move to the Main Ranch at once. We waited for them until 8 P.M. and then went and got them…”